What I learned from 2019

January 10, 2020


I enjoy the writing process because you don’t always know where it will take you. (Much like owning a business.) What started as a look back at 2019 turned into a roadmap for 2020. Today, I’m sharing my five key learnings about growing a business and building brand purpose that are shaping the new year.

Define “enough.”

One of the greatest challenges with entrepreneurship is feeling like the possibilities are endless. In December, I listened to a podcast episode about defining enough. The host describes her process to get clear about what she wants and the minimum she needs to be happy. I love this juxtaposition. It takes the infinite and makes it finite. How much is enough?

Build alignment.

One of my greatest aha moments of 2019 is around the idea of alignment. Working with companies to define their brand purpose, I realized something important. It’s not enough to know your purpose, you need to align your business around it. This is going to be a big area of focus for me in 2020.

Be gentle.

My word for 2019 was imperfect. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to let yourself get stifled by perfection. So, my goal was to let go of perfect and take action faster. My word for 2020 is gentle. I learned last year that embracing the imperfect means being gentle with yourself and others. Imagine if we were all just a little more gentle with ourselves and those around us. 

Know your purpose and stick with it.

The single most valuable thing I’ve done to grow my business is to be clear about my purpose. It shapes the work I do, the conversations I have and the things I create. But, it also takes time. It’s not a quick fix. In December, one my clients hosted a lunch for some of their employees and I was invited to join them. It was remarkable to see how employees at different levels of the organization have taken ownership of the company’s purpose and are building upon it.

Be consistent.

Consistency is an important factor in building alignment around purpose. When you’re consistent with your story and about sharing it, things click. I see it now in my own business. When I am consistent, my business feels more aligned and it grows. My goal for 2020 is to establish the right processes to help me create and maintain consistency.

What were some of your 2019 key learnings? What are your goals for 2020? Feel free to drop a comment below or send me an email and share your thoughts. Happy New Year!




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Karen Bailey is a brand purpose consultant and specializes in helping companies define their purpose and align their business around it. In 2017, she launched the blog, Purpose Greater Than Profit, to start a meaningful conversation about the increasingly important role of brand purpose, purposeful leadership and a better way of doing business.


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